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Police under fire over gold mine arrests

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 25 October 2004

The organiser of a protest against the Barrick gold mine, near West Wyalong on the NSW central western slopes, has criticised police, saying they used unnecessary force during arrests at the weekend.

About 100 people gathered from last Friday for a traditional smoking ceremony.

Police say three protesters were arrested on Saturday night for trespassing.

It is alleged they were blocking the only access road to the mine and refused requests to move off.

Protest leader Neville Williams says police used undue force.

"There was a couple of the girls who were punched by the police and one of the police officers grabbed a girl around the throat and attempted to strangle her," he said.

The three protesters will face West Wyalong local court next month.

A police spokesman has denied unnecessary force was used.

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